The Russians call cranes журавль (zhuravl'). Even though crane and  журавль do not sound the same, they actually come from the same Proto-Indo-European root *ger-2 (to shriek) that gave  us words like: crow and crackle.

Cranes are migratory birds that travel in a caravan, free to cross a border, at least in the opinion of the composer of this tango.

Здесь под небом чужим
Я как гость нежеланный
Слышу крик  журавлей
Улетающих вдаль
Сердцу стало больней
Видя птиц караванных
В дорогие края
Провожаю их я. Here I am in a forgein sky
I am like an unwanted guest
I hear the shriek of the cranes
flying away in the distance
The heart started to ache
Seeing the bird caravan
on the road to the border
I followed them. Вот всё ближе они
и как будто рыдают
Словно скорбную весть
мне они принесли,
Из какого же вы
из далекого края
Прилетели сюда
на ночлег журавли?! Here they are closer
and the seem to cry.
Like tidings,
they brought me,
news from you,
from the far border.
Did they arrive
at night, cranes?! Холод, ветер и дождь,
непогода и слякоть,
Вид унылых людей
и холодной земли.
Ах, как больно душе,
сердцу хочется плакать...
Перестаньте рыдать
надо мной, журавли!
Cold, wind and rain,
bad weather and slush.
Kind of sad people
and cold ground.
Oh, it hurts the soul,
The heart wants to cry ...
Stop crying
for me, cranes! Перестаньте рыдать
надо мной, журавли! Stop crying
for me, cranes!

You can find more information about this song here:

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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Anders Valeria

    Thanks, dear Valentin, for the translation Russian beautiful nostalgic song into the English.
    It is always difficult to translate verses , it is necessary to observe size and to select rhyme. You wonderfully managed this task.
    With the appreciation,

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  • Guest - 'Guest'

    Dear Valentin,
    Thank you for the possibility and wonderfull chance to read the poetry in English in our literary clab Ostrov Anders and to recognize the interpretation of that good song which you had maked so professionally. I hope to see here next time your personal poetry as well. Welcome to our comunity and good luck!
    Vera Stremkovskaya

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